[PSP] Guardian Sentai Roboman #7

utsukushuu.dreamer utsukushuu.dreamer at gmail.com
Wed Jul 9 12:01:31 PDT 2008

>From PSP:


"Keeping Secrets"
Component 03.1
March 1st, 2010
by Adrian J. Watts

New Orleans

Ikku swallowed loudly.

"I don't know what you mean," he told the man behind the counter. The
man, Trick, had just suggested that Ikku, and his friends Kiko and
Sei, had been responsible for ending the threat posed by the five
hundred foot tall tortoise Shellshock.

They were responsible - but that was not something they wanted to be
public knowledge.

Trick rolled his eyes.

"I was standing right here when I saw you change," Trick told Ikku. "I
don't think anyone else noticed, they were so busy running away, but I

Ikku started to stand, and Sei followed - but Kiko raised one hand and
motioned for them to sit down. She glanced at the boy sitting in the
corner of the store, starting to chew on the first slice of the second
pizza he had bought in the five minutes since the trio had entered
five minutes earlier. He seemed completely occupied by the process of
eating, and she didn't think he was listening to their conversation.

"You've caught us," she confessed. "What are you going to do about

"Nothing," Trick replied.

The response took all three heroes by surprise. They had expected to
either be exposed to the Black Battalion or blackmailed, at the very
least. Still, people did not just oppose the Black Battalion - and, by
extension, the Earth Defence/Leadership Directorate - for no reason.

"Why aren't you going to turn us in?" Kiko asked. "Are you a

"Hah!" Trick laughed. "No. I just don't like the power the Black
Battalion gets to wield. It didn't take a genius to realise they were
here to capture you three as well as that monster, and considering how
hard you all worked to save us when they failed, especially you - " he
looked at Ikku " - I think you could use the support."

Ikku grinned. "Does that mean free pizza?"

"No," Trick answered, "and you should count yourself lucky I'm not
making you pay to fix my window." He pointed at the shattered front
window of the store. The broken shards had been cleaned up and the
hole patched over with wood. "I'm pretty sure I heard that thing -
Shellshock, wasn't it? - say he came here for you."

Ikku's face turned bright red.

Kiko frowned.

"What are we going to do now, guys?" she asked. "We can't go back to
the safehouse now that we know the Black Battalion are after us and we
don't know where Dr. Nagura could be."

"Science Island," Sei said simply.

Kiko faced him. "We can't go to Science Island. That's where the Black
Battalion is based."

Sei shook his head.

"That is not what I meant. You both know I have been in constant
contact with Science Island since leaving Blizzard Base Zero. My
contact there will not turn us over to the Black Battalion. They can
advise us on a suitable course of action until we know precisely what
is going on."

Kiko turned to Ikku. "What do you think?"

Ikku shrugged.

"I think..." he said slowly. "I think I'm really hungry." He looked at
Trick, who had walked to the other end of the counter while they
spoke. "Hey, can we get a large one over here? Cheesy crust, extra
sauce... spaghetti and anchovies?"

Trick nodded as Kiko and Sei looked at each other, then faced Ikku.

"Anchovies...?" Sei asked.

"And spaghetti?" Kiko added.

Ikku ignored them. "I think we need to let Sei do his thing. He's
taken care of us so far. Let's let him contact his friend on Science
Island, and once we know who's out to get us and why, we can start
looking into the future."

"I guess that's that, then," Kiko said.

Then there was silence. For several minutes, the only sound in the
pizza store was that of Trick's pans and knives striking the metal
bench on which he prepared the pizzas. No-one spoke, until:

"How have you enjoyed your first day with Project: Roboman?" Ikku
asked Kiko. He offered her a cheeky wink, and she couldn't help but
laugh. "I bet all those years at school really helped!"

Kiko punched him in the arm playfully, then stared solemnly at the
counter in front of her. "Part of me really wants us to turn ourselves
over to the Black Battalion."

Ikku's eyes widened in shock.

"What? Why?"

"We haven't done anything wrong," Kiko said. "We don't know why the
Black Battalion wants to take us in. All we did was run from the
things attacking Blizzard Base Zero. Maybe - "

"The Black Battalion attacked Blizzard Base Zero. I saw them," Ikku

"The rifles the Black Battalion were carrying were designed to
incapacitate us," Sei added. "They were prepared to capture us using

"I know, I know," Kiko shook her head. "Sei should contact Science
Island... find out where we stand."

There was more silence.

Trick opened the door to his oven and pulled out a large pizza on an
equally large wooden tray. He carried it to his bench and slid the
pizza into a box, then quickly sliced it into eight pieces.

"One spaghetti and anchovy p - " he began to say.


Sei, Ikku, Kiko and Trick all turned at once to stare at the store's
only other customer. The boy jumped from his seat, ran across the room
and through his arms around Ikku's chest. He squeezed him as tightly
as he could, and started jumping up and down.

"Spaghetti and anchovies!" he offered by way of explanation.

"... excuse me?" Ikku responded.

"Spaghetti and anchovies is my favourite!" the boy said. "And curry
powder and pineapple. And cheese and - "

Trick rolled his eyes. "Meet Kageki, my number one customer. He even
helps out sometimes when we're really busy."

Kageki released Ikku and took a deep bow.

"Hi!" he said loudly. "Pleased to meet you!"

He offered his hand to Ikku, then Kiko, then Sei... but no-one took
it. Instead, they turned away from him and back to the counter.

"Trick," Sei said. "Do you have a computer I may use?"

Trick nodded. "Sure. Kageki, why don't you take Sei out back, show him
where the computer is?"

Kageki grinned and bowed again. He wrapped his hand around Sei's wrist
and pulled him off his seat. "You will like the computer!" he said as
he led Sei around the counter. "I helped Trick-san buy it and set it
up and taught him how to use it to..." His voice trailed off as he and
Sei disappeared through a flapping plastic door.

"He must be fun to have around," Ikku said as he began to chew on a
slice of pizza. "I can't fault his taste in pizza, though!"

Kiko and Trick watched as, in less than two minutes, Ikku finished the
entire pizza. When he was done, he leaned back in his chair, patted
his stomach, and let out a loud burp.

Trick smiled. "That will be seven ninety-five."

Ikku reached into his pockets, and found that they were empty. Then he
remembered: the clothes he was wearing weren't his. He had no money.


Trick shook his head and disappeared beneath the counter. He returned
a moment later, holding a red dishcloth, which he held out for Ikku to

"I think an hour ought to cover it," he said. He turned to Kiko. "And
what would you like to eat?"

Kiko's blushed. "Actually, I don't have any money either."

"I know," Trick winked. "It's on the house."

Ikku scowled.


Science Island

"Come in."

Senshi hesitated before walking into Dr. Brachis' office. As far as he
knew, Dr. Brachis had no reason to see him that day - she had made it
clear she wanted him to focus only on his usual duties. When another
member of the security team informed him that she wanted to speak with
him, his thoughts immediately went to his attempt the previous day to
search through her computer files.

She knows, he thought. I'm finished.

He stpped slowly through the doorway and into the office where, as
usual, Dr. Brachis sat typing at her laptop. She glanced up at him
briefly as he waited at attention, but did not speak. He watched while
she selected something with her mouse, typed a few lines of text, and
finally turned to look at him.

"Why didn't you pass on Jenkins' message?"

Senshi knew exactly what she was talking about. The night before,
another security officer - Brad Jenkins - had come looking for Dr.
Brachis in order to pass on details regarding the interrogation of
survivors from Sorceress Miko's attack on Blizzard Base Zero. Senshi
had deliberately kept the information to himself.

"I... forgot," he lied.

Dr. Brachis shook her head. "You didn't forget."

Senshi said nothing.

Dr. Brachis sighed.

"Senshi... you're a good security officer. The best I could hope for,"
she told him. "I know that you're unhappy with my decision not to let
you investigate the incident at Blizzard Base Zero, but I need you to
trust that I have my reasons."

Senshi remained silent.

"I am going to overlook this," Dr. Brachis said. "I already knew about
the three missing base operatives. But you can't - " There was a knock
at the door. "Yes?"

Brad Jenkins walked into the office and past Senshi. He was carrying a
note, which he handed to Dr. Brachis, then turned and left the office
without saying a word.

"Director Satoshi wants to see you as soon as possible," Dr. Brachis
said. "You can go now."

Senshi saluted and left the room. He walked quickly down the maze-like
corridors of Science Island's security complex wondering why the
director would want to see him. Director Satoshi Kakeru represented
the Japanese government and was responsible for all operations on
Science Island. Despite the man's importance, Senshi had seen him only
once during his entire time on the island, and could not help feeling
more than a little nervous as he knocked on the door to Director
Satoshi's office.


Senshi opened the door and stepped slowly into the office. It was as
bare as it could possibly be - in the centre of the room was a black
desk, with one chair on either side, and a fluorescent light set into
the ceiling directly above it. There were no windows, no decorations,
no other furnishings.

Director Satoshi sat at the desk and Senshi examined him as he walked
in. Satoshi was not old by any means, but his skin was weathered and
wrinkled. He had long white hair, which fell loosely around his face,
and he wore a black suit and white shirt, neither of which seemed to
have been cleaned or ironed recently.

In contrast to his sloppy grooming, Satoshi's sat with his back
straight and smiled as Senshi walked in, showing bright white, perfect

"You must be Senshi," he said.

"Yes, Director Satoshi, sir!" Senshi replied.

"Call me Kakeru, please," Satoshi said. "Take a seat."

"I'd rather stand, sir," Senshi responded. It was only the second time
he had seen Director Satoshi, and possibly the only time he would ever
meet him. He did not want to come across as anything other than

"Suit yourself. Do you know why you're here?"

"No, sir."

Satoshi frowned. "You are here because Dr. Brachis says you are the

Senshi did not know how to respond, or even if he should, so he simply
waited for Satoshi to continue speaking.

"You are here because a project of mine is almost ready to be tested,"
Satoshi explained. "I have been developing Operation: Guardian for
years and thanks to some recently acquired help I suspect I have
overcome its last hurdle. I am looking for the most suitable candidate
to become part of the project."

"Yes, sir."

"I have looked over your personnel file," Satoshi continued. "You seem
to have had an ideal life at one stage. Why would you leave your
family to come here?"

Senshi considered his words carefully before answering. "My younger
sister and I had a... difference of opinion. I thought it was best
that I leave."

Satoshi nodded. "Your work here has been exemplary. You don't have a
single black mark against your name. What is it you are hoping to
achieve on Alpha 7?"

"I am not aiming for anything in particular, sir," Senshi responded.
"I just want to do my job to the best of my ability."

Satoshi frowned. "That's very admirable." He paused for a moment. "I
have just one more question. How far are you willing to go to protect
the secrets of Alpha 7? Would you give your life, if you had to?"

Senshi answered instantly. "Yes, sir."

"That's all I need to hear," Satoshi said. "You may leave."

Senshi saluted and left the office, closing the door behind him.


New Orleans

Sei quickly examined the room behind the kitchen at 'Hey, Pizza!'. The
walls were white and one window looked out to the east, but was
covered by a thick black curtain. Two long desks ran along the western
wall; one was bare, the other held a computer and monitor, and a black
stool was placed before it. Next to the desks was a tall lamp. In the
centre of the room was a small brown couch. Its fabric was stained and
torn. Three feet in front of the couch was a fifteen inch television,
showing the day's news - specifically, video highlights of the fight
against Shellshock.

"There's the computer, Sei-san!"

Kageki pointed to the computer, as if Sei had not already seen it. Sei
nodded slightly and sat on the black stool while Kageki turned his
attention to the television.

Sei began to strike the computer keyboard rapidly, entering a series
of commands into the console that he had memorised much earlier, a set
of commands that would connect the computer to the Earth Defence/
Leadership Directorate technology network. Unlike other terminals,
which each carried a unique identifying number, machines modified
using the commands entered by Sei were unidentifiable and interacted
with the rest of the network by posing as a random number.

'Terminal X activated.'

Sei did not react with any emotion when the message appeared in the
centre of the computer screen. The process he had started was
complicated, and showing happiness or excitement meant an increased
probability of making a mistake. He continued to type and, seconds
later, a black and green command window opened up:

X: Identd code 1499-sei

> Identd acknowledged. Sei?

X: The monster has been despatched, but the Black Battalion is aware
of our survival and location. Please advise as to best course of

> Remain where you are for now. Damien Sinclair did not represent the Black Battalion. He was there only to capture Shellshock.

X: I know this. Have chosen to keep this information to myself.
Caution will keep the others in line.

> How are your power reserves?

X: Have retained enough for one last jump. Need recharge.

> Return in one hour. The usual location.

> Have the others been briefed on the robosuits' true purpose?

X: No.

> Good. I don't want to involve them fully if it can be avoided. Even equipped with the robosuits, they lack the analytical precision required to effectively use the power.

X: Agreed. Any word on Dr. Nagura?

> None. We know he has been captured by Sorceress Miko, but her location remains a mystery.

X: And the other?

> I have someone making his way inside now. We should know in a matter of days, then we can make our move.

X: I hope you are wrong about him.

> So do I. If I'm not... we have planned effectively. You will be ready to act?

"Sei-san! Look at this!"

Sei cut off his connection to the network before swinging his legs
around to look at Kageki. The boy was pointing at the television
screen, which depicted several police vehicles parked outside a New
Orleans bank. Armed officers pointed their weapons at the closed door.
As Sei watched, the door burst open - and a woman in a pink-and-white
skintight bodysuit, with silver boots and gloves, walked out. On each
shoulder sat an almost identical woman, only much smaller; almost
exactly six inches tall.

Sei recognised them immediately.

Pixies, he thought. And Sorceress Miko...


NEXT: Secrets!

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